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Toronto’s tech boom is transforming the city
July 26, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | MARCUS GEE.

the tech industry that is transforming Toronto. The city is in the midst of a spectacular tech boom. Big firms such as Microsoft, Twitter, Uber, Google and Netflix are setting up shop or expanding here. Thousands of workers are coming to live and work in the city. Thousands of startup companies are revving their engines.

The pell-mell growth of the city comes in part from the rise of tech. Patrick Fejér of B+H Architects says 10 million square feet of new office space is due to open by 2024, more than was built from 1992 to the present. Toronto, he says, has more than 120 construction cranes in the air, compared with 65 in Seattle and 35 in New York.

CBRE, a real estate consultancy, says that Toronto is the fastest-growing market for tech talent in North America, “adding an eye-popping 80,100 tech jobs in the past five years, a 54-per-cent increase.” It now ranks third, just behind San Francisco’s Bay Area and Seattle.
Big_Tech  creative_class  downtown_core  housing  King-Spadina  Kitchener-Waterloo  livability  Marcus_Gee  millennials  neighbourhoods  Port_Lands  property_development  Sidewalk_Labs  talent  Toronto  transformational  transit  walkability  technology 
july 2019 by jerryking
The trouble with the Toronto high-school black list - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
PUBLISHED 15 HOURS AGO

Last year, the Toronto District School Board issued a report noting that the student body at specialty schools such as ESA tends to be whiter and more prosperous than the board average. Detecting bastions of entitlement, the authors of the report recommended shutting down the schools in the name of equity. That was an awful idea. Toronto’s specialty schools are gems. Parents revolted and the school board backed down. Specialty schools would stay. But a cloud continued to hang over ESA. Its principal, Peggy Aitchison, wanted to do everything she could to make sure the school was not “creating inequity.” So “with an objective of supporting success for all students, particularly those for whom we know as a group there are gaps,” she came up with a plan. She would give teachers a list of black students. It came to be called the “black list.”.....At institutions such as the Toronto board, which distinguished itself by banning the word “chief” from job titles to spare the feelings of Indigenous people, the air is simply full of talk about white privilege and systemic racism. The old ideal of colour blindness has gone right out the window. If you say that individuals should be judged by the content of their character not the colour of their skin, you simply don’t get it.

Here is the paradox of today’s Canada. Thanks to evolving attitudes and the critical work of crusaders for racial justice, prejudice is less prevalent that it has ever been. This country is approaching a moment that idealists have dreamed about for centuries − the moment when who you are matters more than how you look, how you pray or where you come from. Yet at this very moment, so full of promise, we find ourselves positively obsessed with racial identity.
high_schools  TDSB  race  elitism  political_correctness  identity_politics  Marcus_Gee  Toronto  arts  Etobicoke 
july 2018 by jerryking
Another great migration is under way: Black Americans are leaving big cities for the suburbs - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
CHICAGO
PUBLISHED APRIL 29, 2018

The dwindling of black Chicago is all the more poignant when set against the dramatic story of its rise. Over the course of the Great Migration, Chicago’s black population grew from just 44,000 to more than a million. At one point, writes Isabel Wilkerson in her 2010 history The Warmth of Other Suns, 10,000 people were arriving in the city every month, pouring off northbound trains onto Chicago railway platforms.

Chicago became a capital of black America, enjoying a cultural renaissance that rivalled Harlem’s in New York. Famous figures such as gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, boxer Joe Louis and poet Gwendolyn Brooks were among Chicago’s residents.
Chicago  Marcus_Gee  internal_migration  suburban  crime  black_flight  gentrification  the_South  African-Americans  Great_Migration  Isabel_Wilkerson 
april 2018 by jerryking
Don't be daft, London is still a world-class city -
August 28, 2017 | The Globe and Mail| by Marcus Gee.

Are London's glory years coming to an end? Don't bet on it. In fact, its recent troubles may turn out to be no more than a blip in its dazzling rise......Despite the sixties upswing symbolized by Twiggy, Carnaby Street and the Beatles, London was a city in decline. Crime was on the rise. Many Londoners were fleeing to the suburbs or leaving the country altogether. The city's population fell by two million between 1939 and 1979, reports Tom Dyckhoff in his recent book The Age of Spectacle. From 1961 to 1971 alone, London lost 600,000 residents. Jobs fled, too, as the docks declined and manufacturers left for greener pastures......then something unexpected and quite wonderful began to happen. Middle-class people attracted to the charm of the old began to move into beat-up parts of the city. Boutiques started popping up in rundown districts such as Covent Garden. A wave of financial deregulation made London a hub for banking and other financial services, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and drawing people from Europe and around the world. Governments started investing in the city again. The Tube network was expanded and refurbished. The glorious St. Pancras Station, once threatened with demolition, was made over as a glistening portal for rail travellers. Foreign money flooded in.

The past 20 years have transformed London from the decaying capital of a clapped-out postimperial power to a humming world city where Land Rovers roam the avenues, tourists flock to ride the London Eye and Russian oligarchs build swimming pools under their Georgian townhouses......Prime Minister Theresa May [is attempting] to come up with a coherent plan to do the impossible: keep the advantages of belonging to the EU without actually being a member......The city still boasts many advantages. Not least of them is the fact that it is, well, London.

As its former mayor (now Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) Boris Johnson puts it in his book The Spirit of London, the city is a global brand. Its pull is magnetic, its resilience famous. "It is plainly a city that can come back from almost anything – massacre, fire, plague, blitz."

There are practical reasons to bet on London, too. As much as Londoners complain about it, the public transportation system in the birthplace of the subway is a wonder. Looking to the future, the city is bulking up with the huge Crossrail project, designed to link the city's east and west.
Marcus_Gee  world-class  London  Brexit  decline  '70s  deregulation  revitalization  cities  books  financial_services 
august 2017 by jerryking
Donald Trump and the power of negative thinking - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 12, 2016

The United States, top dog for as long a s anyone can remember, is no exception. Every little while, Americans are seized by anxiety that they are being surpassed by people who are tougher (the Russians), cleverer (the Japanese) or harder-working (the Chinese).

Political thinkers call it declinism – the belief that your society is heading into decline – and the United States is suffering from a feverish bout of it right now. Declinism is helping to fuel the rise of Donald Trump, who whips up his cheering supporters with claims that other countries are eating America’s lunch.....Since the U.S. became the world’s pre-eminent power at the end of the WWII, it has been hit by periodic waves of insecurity. It happened when the Soviets beat them to the punch by putting the first satellite into space in 1957. It happened during the Vietnam War.

And it happened during the energy crisis of the late 1970s, when president Jimmy Carter warned that Americans were having a “crisis of the spirit.”....Although the rise of China presents another challenge, the U.S. still leads the world in military, economic and technological power. Its top universities crowd best-in-the-world lists. It cleans up at Nobel Prize time. American companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are tops in the tech field. It spends more on its armed forces than the next eight countries combined......Mr. Trump promises to put the country back on top. “We will have so much winning, if I get elected, that you may get bored of winning,” he said last September.

It’s a false hope. No country wins all the time. Even at the height of its power from 1945 to 1970, Joseph Nye reminds us, Washington failed to stop Moscow from getting nuclear weapons, Castro from taking control in Cuba and the Soviets from crushing rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Donald_Trump  demagoguery  America_in_Decline?  negativity_bias  Campaign_2016  Marcus_Gee  insecurity  superpowers  Joseph_Nye 
august 2016 by jerryking
The Scarborough Bluffs are rarely seen — but there’s a plan to change that - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 13, 2016

[ M. Jane Fairburn in her 2013 book Along the Shore, a history of Toronto's waterfront]

Conservation officials hope to change all that, making the Bluffs safer and easier to visit. They want to shore up dangerous bits, put in more trails and create habitat for wild animals and fish. A study is already under way, with a first set of options to be presented to the public next month.

It is an exciting project, a once-in-a-century chance to open up the whole of the Scarborough shore to a broader public. It is also a delicate one. Officials face the challenge of giving safe access to the Bluffs without destroying the wild quality that lend them their magic. Some people want them left alone altogether. Others want to see a continuous shoreline trail as you might have in an urban waterfront.
Toronto  Marcus_Gee  Scarborough  history  parks  waterfronts  landmarks  landscapes  ravines  conservation  habitats  wilderness  books  TRCA 
may 2016 by jerryking
Toronto’s Yonge Street evolving from sleazy ‘strip’ into a global landmark - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015

Yonge is about to go through big changes, becoming not just a renowned national street but a world street, with a level of density and activity that will make it feel more like Tokyo or Shanghai than the jumbled, still shabby downtown stretch that visitors see today.

More than 30 building projects, many of them soaring towers, are in the works. At one intersection alone, Yonge and Gerrard, six towers are coming, and that is on top of the immense glass skyscraper that already stands on the northwest corner.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  landmarks  public_spaces  Yonge_Street  revitalization  property_development  urban_planning  quality_of_life 
november 2015 by jerryking
Slowly, new attitudes taking root across America’s Old South - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
Slowly, new attitudes taking root across America’s Old South
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 01, 2015
Marcus_Gee  the_South  race_relations  Civil_War  racism  slavery  South_Carolina  race  Confederacy  symbolism  flags  Charleston_shootings 
september 2015 by jerryking
Divisive questions: Remove Confederate monuments or use them to educate?
Just down the road from the church where a racist gunman killed nine people last month stands a tall column in a grassy square. Atop it stands an imperious figure with a cape over his shoulders, a…
racism  slavery  South_Carolina  race  Confederacy  symbolism  flags  Marcus_Gee  the_South 
july 2015 by jerryking
The enduring leadership of Charleston’s mayor - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jul. 01, 2015
Marcus_Gee  leaders  leadership  mayoral  Charleston_shootings  Charleston  South_Carolina 
july 2015 by jerryking
Obama delivers eulogy for Charleston preacher, sings ‘Amazing Grace’ - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 26, 2015

Since he was elected in 2008 and became the first black man to sit in the Oval Office, Mr. Obama has usually been cautious in his pronouncements about race, speaking out only after incidents like the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin or the violence after the police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Mo.

But the attack on a Charleston church last week was on another scale. The emotions it has provoked and the issues it has raised clearly called for a deeper, stronger response.

The result was an oration in which a president drawing toward the end of his second and final term put caution aside and jumped into the discussion of race that he himself is such a part of. He spoke to console but also to challenge, calling on Americans not to squander the moment of grief and of anguished questioning that has followed the Charleston killings....The best way to do that, he said, is not just to have yet another “conversation” about race but to work on the country’s problems, from poverty to failing schools to the “unique mayhem” of gun violence to the many thousands of men marooned in the vast U.S. prison system.

This was Mr. Obama’s first opportunity to speak at length about the shocking church killings that have Americans talking once again about racism, racial division and the sources of hate. Mr. Obama is reported to have been working on his speech all week.

When it came to delivering it, he was direct. Mr. Obama said the country had been blind to hurt caused by the waving of the Confederate flag – a symbol, he said, not just of ancestral pride but of “racial subjugation.” He said that the cause for which Confederates fought – “the cause of slavery – was wrong.”

He praised South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for moving to take down the rebel flag that flies on the grounds of the State House.

“But I don’t think God wants us to stop there. For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present.”
Obama  Marcus_Gee  tributes  Charleston_shootings  Clementa_Pinckney  grief  eulogies  racial_subjugation  Confederacy  slavery 
june 2015 by jerryking
Five things the TD Centre can teach us about how to build Toronto - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 01 2015,

The TD towers were a radical departure both in scale and in style. The tallest of the original two soared to 56 floors, dominating the skyline like nothing before or since. Rising from its six-acre site at King and Bay, it was everything the old buildings around it were not. While they featured arched windows and gargoyles, Greek columns and bronze roofs, the design of the TD Centre was all austerity and simplicity.

It is just this sort of future that the creators of the TD Centre had in mind when they hired one of the era’s most renowned architects to build them something outstanding. The architect was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), the Chicago-based German émigré who liked to say that “less is more.” He referred to his works as “skin-and-bones” architecture, and his unadorned steel-and-glass boxes were meant to reflect the spirit of a modern technological era.

It took ambition and foresight to pull off something as bold as the TD Centre. It meant thinking about what the city would become instead of just coping with what it was. Those qualities sometimes seem lacking in today’s Toronto. There are still things we can learn from those dark towers.

First, don’t be afraid of tall buildings.
Second, investing in quality pays.
Third, maintain what you have.
Fourth, pay attention to details.
Finally, always think about the future. Toronto, and Canada, were in a risk-taking frame of mind when the first tower took shape. Expo 67, the wildly successful world’s fair, was under way in Montreal. The striking new Toronto City Hall by Finnish architect Viljo Revell had opened two years earlier.
'60s  ambitions  architecture  boldness  foresight  history  lessons_learned  Marcus_Gee  skyscrapers  Bay_Street  TD_Bank  Toronto  design  forward_looking  PATH  detail_oriented  minimalism  quality  Expo_67  risk-taking  mindsets  pay_attention 
may 2015 by jerryking
Through the good and very bad, Bill Blair remained himself. We were lucky to have him - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 24 2015

The handling of security around 2010's G20 Summit, carding and the police budget are exhibits in the case against the chief and reasons why the police board didn’t renew his contract when it came up last summer.....In the end, there really is only one Bill Blair. Toronto was lucky to have him[???]. He helped make the city a safer place. He ran the police force with integrity and intelligence. He always faced criticism squarely and never shied away from scrutiny of his conduct. He is a decent man who did a hard job exceptionally well.
G20  mistakes  carding  Bill_Blair  Toronto_Police_Service  legacies  Marcus_Gee  Toronto 
april 2015 by jerryking
Toronto Police’s carding reform is built on a good foundation - The Globe and Mail
Apr. 01 2015 |The Globe and Mail |MARCUS GEE.

Chief Blair promises that the force will train officers in how to conduct engagements with the public respectfully and within the law; that it will report to the board regularly on the engagement policy; that it will refrain from imposing carding quotas on officers; and that it will take care not to gather or keep masses of irrelevant data.

None of this will be enough for many of the activists, human-rights organizations and community groups that have besieged the board over the carding issue. They don’t like the fact that officers will be able to initiate contact and gather information as long as there is a “valid public safety purpose,” a pretty broad authorization. They don’t like the fact that police will not be required to issue a receipt to those it contacts (instead, officers will have business cards they can hand out) or inform people whom they stop that they have the right to walk away.
Toronto_Police_Services_Board  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Bill_Blair  reforms  carding  Marcus_Gee  Alok_Mukherjee  civilian_oversight  community_policing  racial_profiling  walking_away 
april 2015 by jerryking
The Laneway Project: How one small idea could bring new life to Toronto’s back alleys - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

The Laneway Project. Its organizers, a trio of Toronto planners and urban designers, are working with city officials and community groups to find ways to green, beautify and enliven Toronto’s back lanes, turning them into places where people want to spend time instead of simply pass through.
ideas  civics  design  public_spaces  neighbourhoods  Toronto  green  beautification  urban  Marcus_Gee 
march 2015 by jerryking
Toronto has finally found the confidence to act like a big city - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Mar. 18 2015

Toronto has finally found the confidence to act like a big city.

Back in the 1970s, Toronto was so fearful about density and development that city hall slapped a temporary 45-foot (13.7-metre) height restriction on new construction in the downtown core. Over time, planners have come to understand that if the region is going to absorb hundreds of thousands of newcomers without succumbing to endless urban sprawl, it will have to grow up rather than out. Now the boom in condo construction and the vogue for downtown living has made it possible to build a denser, livelier urban core. If central Toronto is starting to feel even a bit like Manhattan, it can only be a good thing.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  densification  downtown_core  urban  urbanization  urban_intensification  urban_planning  skyscrapers  building_codes 
march 2015 by jerryking
Governments need to deliver big infrastructure projects honestly - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 09 2015

Why do big projects like these so often go over time and over budget? Ryerson University professor Murtaza Haider says that delays and overruns on megaprojects are common all over the world. Proponents of big projects consistently low-ball the cost for fear that the sticker shock might prevent them from ever getting built. “It is a very serious issue that goes to the heart of the credibility of all those who are building the infrastructure,” he says.

The hitches with the Spadina line are especially serious for a city such as Toronto that must spend billions to renew and build out its infrastructure. “If this is the norm, we have a problem,” says Prof. Haider.

Yes, we do. The dynamic at work here is universal and troubling. A government that announces a big, expensive project is loath to admit that things have gone wrong and that it is spending more public money than it said it would.

Instead, it grabs any opportunity to boast about how great the project is and how well it is going. Rather than being a monitor, it turns into a cheerleader.
Marcus_Gee  transit  infrastructure  cost_overruns  Toronto  truth-telling  honesty  megaprojects  normalization 
march 2015 by jerryking
Toronto’s school board isn’t just troubled. It’s rotten - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

It is just as hard to imagine how a government that balks at breaking up a ridiculous and wholly unnecessary commercial monopoly such as the Beer Store is going to undertake a root-and-branch reform of the country’s biggest school board. Yet that is what is called for – nothing less.

The problem at the TDSB goes far beyond a few trustees with swollen heads. The rot at the board is deeper than that. Teachers’ unions and custodians’ unions have far too much power, individual teachers and principals far too little. The dead hand of the education bureaucracy stifles innovation and creativity.
TDSB  education  mediocrity  Marcus_Gee  mismanagement  schools  performance  bureaucracies  dysfunction  reform  root-and-branch  unions  autonomy  leadership 
january 2015 by jerryking
Instead of blocking progress, Toronto should encourage Uber - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 19 2014

Rather than stand in the way, cities should find ways to let these services thrive while protecting consumers and being fair to established providers like cab companies. In California, birthplace of Uber, regulators have brought in rules that permit the car-summoning companies to operate as long as they take steps such as meeting insurance requirements and having background checks for drivers. Officials are still jousting with the companies over how it will work, but it is a start.

It will be a tricky business, no doubt. To suffocate the new services in regulation would be a mistake. Strict standards on car maintenance, equipment and driver training don’t make sense for an informal exchange such as this. Competition and the lash of consumer reviews should help keep the new companies from using clunkers or sketchy drivers.

Authorities shouldn’t over-regulate pricing, either. The practice of “surge pricing” – hiking the cost of rides at busy times – is a legitimate and promising way to get the supply of cars and drivers to meet the demand from passengers.
Uber  Marcus_Gee  Toronto  John_Tory  regulation  taxis  sharing_economy  surge_pricing  price_hikes 
november 2014 by jerryking
Doug Ford should boast about real achievements instead of resorting to untruths - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 14 2014
The Ford administration had some real achievements, from contracting out garbage collection in part of the city to hammering out new contracts with city unions. Those should be enough for Mr. Ford to boast about.
Marcus_Gee  Doug_Ford  Rob_Ford  elections  Toronto  political_campaigns 
october 2014 by jerryking
All or nothing for Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 25 2014

Mr. Tory enters the race with some big advantages. He is a well-known figure in a competition where name recognition matters. He has a high-powered campaign team with links to both Liberal and Conservative parties. His Bay Street connections should make it easy to raise money and build a campaign war chest.

He has a killer résumé. As a former business executive with Rogers, he can claim to know about how to create prosperity and jobs. As a leader of the volunteer group CivicAction, he has worked on urban issues from transit to youth unemployment. As a talk-show host till he quit to run, he is well-read and articulate on all the issues.

He ran a good campaign for mayor in 2003 and came a close second to David Miller. He calls himself a fiscal conservative and yet acknowledges the need for public investment in a growing city.... Karen Stintz and David Soknacki, on the other flank, are selling the same brand as Mr. Tory – moderate non-Ford conservative. Mr. Ford’s camp, meanwhile, is portraying Mr. Tory as a blue blood out of touch with the ordinary folk, an image that, even if a caricature, could stick.

But Mr. Tory’s worst potential enemy is himself. He is so fair-minded, so willing to see the other side, that he often seems all over the place. He talks a mile a minute, not always to his own advantage. His time in provincial politics revealed a man of weak political instincts who lost a general election, the seat he was contesting and a by-election before resigning as Conservative leader.
Marcus_Gee  John_Tory  political_campaigns  mayoral  Toronto 
august 2014 by jerryking
Mayor Ford’s dubious budget claims don’t stand up - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 14 2014

A summary of the report from the University of Toronto’s Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance says flatly that “Toronto does not have a ‘spending problem’ – with expenditures roughly the same as they were a decade ago, when inflation and population growth are taken into account.”....To put it another way, the authors believe that the city has a revenue problem, not a spending problem. The mayor did not mention that “interesting point” when he used the report to tout his record.
Marcus_Gee  Rob_Ford  Toronto  cost-cutting  uToronto  expenditures  budgets 
august 2014 by jerryking
Blair’s ouster is a chance to pursue real change in policing - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 08 2014

“Canada’s police are pricing themselves out of business,” writes analyst Christian Leuprecht in a recent paper for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. “Police budgets have increased at a rate double that of GDP over the last decade, while calls from the public for service have remained stable.” Nearly 40 per cent of Toronto Police Service’s work force shows up on the “sunshine list” of public employees making over $100,000.

He notes that many of the duties performed by police do not require an armed, highly trained uniformed officer. One U.S. study he cites showed that only 5 per cent of calls required police to use some kind of force to ensure the safety of the public or the officer.

“Many of the duties that police perform,” Prof. Leuprecht writes, “can be performed as effectively and efficiently by non-sworn members, special constables, community safety officers, or private security companies.” In Britain, where the law now allows police to send community-support officers to escort prisoners and even investigate minor crimes, civilians outnumber sworn officers in some police forces.

Introducing such sharp change in Toronto would not be easy. Police commanders and union leaders naturally resist seeing their duties handed to other, less-trained workers. Although much police work these days may indeed by a kind of social work, those like Mr. McCormack argue that police often find themselves in dangerous situations and that shootings and stabbings are still unfortunately commonplace on the streets of the city.
Marcus_Gee  Bill_Blair  civilian_oversight  budgets  cost-cutting  Toronto_Police_Service  Toronto_Police_Services_Board 
august 2014 by jerryking
A Toronto shop's tailor-made legacy, after 106 years
Jul. 04 2014 | The Globe and Mail | MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday,
legacies  bespoke  mens'_clothing  Marcus_Gee  suits 
july 2014 by jerryking
Here’s my list of the most obnoxious Torontonians - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 13 2014

Amy Alkon, the American author of a new book with the cute title Good Manners for Nice People who Sometimes Say F*ck, says it is inevitable in a busy urban environment.

"We can behave badly when we are around strangers, and we're around strangers almost all the time," "This allows people to do stuff they would never do to a neighbour. The guy that's flipping you the bird in traffic is counting on the fact that he's never going to see you again."

Rude people in cities somehow persuade themselves that all those other people around them simply don't exist – or, at least, don't merit bothering about.

These rude people are self-declared islands in the urban sea, pursuing their self-interest and supremely indifferent to the effects on the rest of us.The road hog cyclist was like that, but there are many others like him.........Most people follow the simple rules of urban etiquette that keep the modern metropolis functioning, even when there is no one around to enforce them.

Most dog owners pick up after their pets with plastic bags, a relatively new practice, simply because it is expected. Most city dwellers who aren't the mayor still experience shame......Amy Alkon is off base. Most of us don't feel we can behave badly around strangers. When that guy rammed me with his bike, everyone getting off the streetcar and passing by on the street knew he was in the wrong. Even as he bombed off through the intersection, I'm sure he felt it. It is that collective judgment that we fear and, by and large, respect.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  civics  courtesies  etiquette  civility  humility  public_decorum  anonymity 
june 2014 by jerryking
Toronto wise to hold off celebrating Wynne’s victory - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 13 2014

Ontario, and by extension its capital city, is facing big challenges. Once the dynamo of the national economy, the province is struggling to create jobs and maintain growth. Joblessness runs consistently above the national average. Ontario’s troubles have obvious and serious effects on Toronto. This city is in the process of moving from big city to true metropolis. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are arriving every decade from all corners of the world. The city is growing up (quite literally, in its booming downtown). Will it thrive on this growth or choke on it?

To cope, Toronto needs to invest in transit, roads, water systems and other key infrastructure. It needs to reform its often-inept city government, making it leaner and more responsive. If it is to overcome the stresses of growth and continue to thrive in the coming years, it needs the consistent help of the provincial government, to which city hall is tightly tethered.

More than that, it needs Ontario to succeed. Ontario’s problem is Toronto’s problem.

Mr. Hudak’s Conservatives and Ms. Wynne’s Liberals offered starkly different solutions. Mr. Hudak promised to cut big government down to size, trim corporate taxes and spur job creation that way. Ms. Wynne promised to invest instead of cut, pouring money into transit and other needs.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  Kathleen_Wynne  Ontario  Liberals  joblessness  job_creation  immigrants  immigration  responsiveness 
june 2014 by jerryking
Livable, booming core stirs envy, but raises infrastructure worries - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 14 2014

Young people are flocking to inhabit the lively, walkable neighbourhoods springing up downtown. In some, such as King-Spadina and Waterfront West, seven out of 10 residents are ‘echo boomers,’ 20 to 39 years old.

The number of people working downtown has been soaring, too. Downtown gained more than 43,000 office jobs in the five years to 2011. A host of big companies, from Google to Telus to Coca-Cola, have moved into new downtown offices. Although downtown contains just 3 per cent of the city’s land area, it accounts for half of its GDP, a third of its jobs and a quarter of its tax base. More than a quarter of a million people commute into downtown each morning by public transit.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  urban  urbanization  urban_intensification  urban_planning  downtown_core  Big_Tech  millennials  neighbourhoods  King-Spadina  Port_Lands  livability  walkability 
june 2014 by jerryking
Are bookstores dead, or turning a new page? - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 04 2014,

Despite competition from ebooks and the giant bookselling chains, this brilliant little chocolate box for bibliophiles is thriving. Its sales are good. Its customers are loyal. The smart, friendly, learned people who work there are far from giving up the ghost.
Marcus_Gee  books  retailers  bookstores 
april 2014 by jerryking
Rob Ford rages against the fading of his political light - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
Rob Ford rages against the fading of his political light Add to ...
Subscribers Only

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Nov. 19 2013
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  Rob_Ford  scandals  mayoral 
november 2013 by jerryking
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